After the previous season’s rather abrupt conclusion with Rick and crew trapped inside of the boxcar and the words, “they’re screwing with the wrong people,” we finally are seeing the truth of what Terminus really is. Comic book readers, I know you’ve all been clenching your teeth in anticipation for what is to come..all I have to say to you is..no, Lucille is not in this episode and yes, that Hunters’ vibe you’ve been feeling towards the end of season 4, definitely plays out here. There, I said it. Now, we can move onto the other insane elements of this episode. It was also super enjoyable to see less of Farmer Rick and more of the Sheriff that would do whatever is necessary to protect his group. The premiere of the new season of The Walking Dead definitely did not disappoint, whether you are a fan of the gore or the intense storyline!
Just a reminder, the group is split into two at this point (thirds if you count Beth). We see Rick, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Sasha, Abraham, Eugene, Tara, and Rosita reunited inside of the Terminus boxcar, while Tyreese, Carol, and Judith are still making their way towards the “sanctuary” ahead.
— SPOILERS BEGINNING NAOOO!
The story begins with a flashback filled with screams echoing in the background and the Terminus crew including Garth and Alex, inside of a boxcar. Alex, who was accidentally killed in the previous season, reveals something very crucial for our storyline: the evolution of Terminus as the “sanctuary” it is now was not a smooth one.
We are then transitioned into the present and that fighting fervor has not yet left our group. There is a badass montage of each member creating makeshift weapons out of such things as sharpened zippers, brass knuckles from belt buckles, Michonne’s newly wrapped double edged blade, to the voice of Abraham explaining how they were caught. Daryl spots several of the Terminus community walking towards the boxcars and just when it would seem the gang was gearing up to jump out for some awesome action fight scenes..when we hear footsteps on the roofs and a small can drop in.
The entire group is treated to a flash/smoke grenade where we then switch to the hazy perspective of Rick who is knocked out and then awakens to the sight of two men craving up a body. Next to this very hospital-like environment was also three bins with the words, BURN, FEED, and WASH, imprinted on each. It is at this point, we can really confirm the origins of that pot of mystery stew Mary was stirring in season 4. Rick sees his reflection on the stainless steel surface of a trough and we are taken back into a third-person perspective.
Aside from Rick, Daryl, Bob, and Glenn, as well as an assortment of other men gathered from other boxcars. The look of terror on the blonde boy on the end gives to our merry band of misfits is entirely justified as the butcher holding the bat winds up, and whacks him hard in the head.
His throat is slit by the second, smaller man. In a very efficient line, each of the men are killed in a similar fashion until we reach Glenn. The reactions out of each cast member is entirely genuine as producers pulled an Alien move and filmed the scene without giving the cast any prior knowledge as to what was happening.
Right before we see the butcher about to bash Glenn’s skull in, we are thankfully interrupted by Gareth who had been taking inventory after the roundup (which we assume is what had just occurred). Bob does some begging that is not as efficient as he hopes while Rick threatens Gareth’s livelihood with a hatchet when he is questioned about their supplies.
YAY. SHERIFF KILLER RICK IS BACK! And he is threatening lives with sharp weaponry again! Huzzah!
You can also tell that one of the butchers are actually a new member due to his unfamiliarity with the procedures of Terminus meaning there is a level of choice given to some of those who arrive at Terminus. His inexperience is what saves Glenn and gives Carol enough time to create a DISTRACTION!
One Gareth statement that sticks with you is when Bob asked for him to reconsider what he was doing and Gareth replies, “We can’t go back.” Think back to the opening scene, something has seriously snapped inside Gareth that has caused him to become this homicidal hipster and it definitely involves just how warped human nature becomes when society falls, “you’re the butcher or you’re the cattle.” This image was effectively pounded into our heads between living Alex and rape victim girl, and their dead/soon to be dead bodies, as well as how many times someone was fed to the walkers.
Seriously though, the standardized procedures and sterilization was super creepy. The Hunters storyline has always been a frightening look into how warped the psych can become in extreme circumstances, however, this utterly business-like and methodical means in which these acts were perpetrated was just plain frightening. I mean, look at how practical everything was. A trough to catch the blood, a room for hanging jerky, and bottles of bleach to make sure the floor doesn’t get too sticky. At this point, we also know that Gareth’s group has different boxcars filled with people as a way of maintaining their food source.
*cue theme song* DOO DOooo DOOO ddOOO…
Of course, we are taken out of the previous scene where we see Tyreese and Carol walking with Judith along the tracks toward Terminus. In front of them, a walker slowly stumbles out of the bushes and faces the three. It would seem that Tyreese is still seriously traumatized and cannot bring himself to kill any walker, leaving the dirty work to Carol. Upon bashing its skull in with her blade, Carol sees an entire herd of walkers approaching. Tyreese and Carol quietly move off the tracks while the viewers sit there wondering if Judith would cry out. As the three crouch behind a tall tree root/mound of dirt and branches, the herd is distracted by gunshots, presumably from Terminus.
Carol and Tyreese discuss the possibility that they are walking into an attack however, Carol is determined to get answers so they continue onward.
The scene cuts to a man setting up fireworks (I’m thinking to draw walkers away from Terminus) who is discussing Michonne and Carl via walkie-talkie. Carol holds a pistol to his head and they go into the shack to question this man named Martin. Carol realizes something is up despite the fact that Martin is telling them otherwise.
At this point, she goes seriously Rambo mission to search for answers by smearing herself with walker goo, where she proceeds to blow up a gas tank, thereby causing the explosion that saved Glenn’s head and pristine neck. She leaves Tyreese with the hostage and Judith inside the tiny cabin, where we see how much people have changed to adapt to the new world order especially in terms of the sanctity of life. Martin does some talking, Tyreese grumbles some, Martin does some more talking, Tyreese begins to get mad eyes, its all a nice break from trough bleeding that had just occurred. All we know is that more people are “gonna die,” especially since Martin won’t shut up about it, and that the Terminus group was maintained out of necessity. No one was really friends, except for probably the original group, and even there, we see a sense of separation further confirmed by Alex’s body lying on the carving table, ready for tomorrow’s stew.
More gunshots are heard in the background and we get to see what is going on in Terminus after Carol makes her own entrance onto its grounds. She is able to take out two of the Terminus guards before she is forced to go inside. There are flaming walkers everywhere and we get to see our first zombie gnash of the season! The anticipated fight has begun!
Faces are being eaten off and a female Terminus resident is being split between three zombies. Mary realizes that the fences have gone down and proceeds to run inward.
In the midst of this violence, Rick is able to finish sawing through his ropes with his makeshift blade and then sink that said blade into the neck of each of their would-be butchers. They are all able to escape after Rick steps up as the furious leader and declares not a single resident of Terminus should be left alive. Each grabs a weapon (Daryl being the badass that he is, breaks off a pipe that he uses to bash skulls in with) and runs out to join the violence.
We are then taken back to Carol, who walks into a room that contains the inventory Gareth had been going over. From the look of it, the Terminus group has been extremely successful in gathering supplies and probably ate their children (HUNTERS) due to the pile of toys that got their own table, along with a separate one for weapons, and another for watches. Carol grabs the important items she Hershel’s watch and grabs Daryl’s crossbow.
BACK OUTSIDE AGAIN, we see Rick, Glenn, Daryl, and Bob ducking behind some boxcars to evaluate the situation. Rick, of course, goes running off to get a closer look only to have Daryl appear to save him from becoming walker chow. They then watch as the Terminus crew attempts to take out the group of walkers with guns. One of them wanders a little too closely and gets a really nice shave. Rick acquires his weapon and takes out the rest of the security, leaving them to be eaten by the advancing walkers.
As Rick and gang double back to see if they can reach boxcar A, Carol is seen walking to large room set up as a memorial/worship room filled with candles and painted with things like, “Never Again,” and “Never TRUST,” and “We First, Always” on the wall.
As she looks around, Mary appears behind her, holding a gun. She then demands to see Carol’s face. Fortunately, Carol is wearing a cape and effectively disarms Mary. Unfortunately, this is where we find out just how horribly wrong Terminus went. Mary explains that the signs were once actually true, that Terminus was originally meant to be a true sanctuary. However, as the flashback in the opening scene suggests, the residents of the Terminus community took in the wrong group of individuals and were subjected to ridicule, rape, and imprisonment. Gareth and Mary, along with the other trapped Terminus members were able to take back their residence but not before some irreversible scarring occurred. After finishing her tale and not telling Carol where Rick and gang were located, Mary is shot in the knee and left to be lunch for the walkers outside. The way Carol offers her up as a feast is rather satisfying and you definitely a sense of justification in her actions.
Commercial break concludes and we are back on Tyreese. He is forced to go outside when he becomes distracted by walkers suddenly charge outside, giving Martin the opportunity to grab and threaten to break Judith’s neck. Martin grabs the radio and attempts to get in touch with Terminus, however, after some intense grunts. Tyreese finally cracks and goes into full killing mode. Poor Martin never stood a chance. The scene finishes with a look around the cabin where we see mushy skin blobs and a staked Hot Fuzz-esque walker.
We return back to the part of the group that still remains inside the boxcar where we see those inside contemplating what their next course of action should be. Because of their position, they can only hear muffled gunshots and limited lines of sight filled with walkers. Eugene is, of course, reluctant to go outside and after some prompting, gives a vague description of his importance in Abraham’s mission to D.C. for Carl, Michonne, Maggie, and Glenn. The decision is made for them when they are suddenly thrown into the chaos of the fight when Rick opens the boxcar door.
The crew ALL make it over the fence after some stellar fight sequences and they reconvene in the woods by where Rick and Daryl had hidden their supplies. Rick is determined to return back (even grabbing his pistol!), proclaiming that “they dont get to live” after everything they’ve done. Even though Rick had shot Gareth, it would seem he wanted to make sure the job was complete. Rick is convinced to do otherwise and then Carol appears.
It was super touching to see just how much Carol means to Daryl and that moment of forgiveness between Rick and Carol really rounded out the previous moments of horror and violence. It gets even mushier when Carol brings everyone back to the shack in the woods to see Tyreese and Judith. Sasha and Tyreese’s hug was sweet and something that Tyreese seriously needed (that and a big bucket of ice cream). Rick does do one thing about Terminus, which is to cross out the part about those who arrive, do indeed survive. The new message is that there is NO SANCTUARY there..or anywhere.
Despite that, lots of crying and good feelings all around, which is why you constantly think that someone is going to die at this point but thankfully, the episode ends on a happier cliffhanger with the reappearance of fan-favorite, MORGAN! He is seen reading the newly altered Terminus sign and appears to be tracking something, possibly the sanctuary, but more likely that symbol carved on the tree. Morgan seems to be doing much better than the last time we saw him in season 3 and hopefully this means he will provide a greater part in the storyline this season.
The only person that is not really addressed is Beth. However, during The Talking Dead, we are reminded of the trailer and that she is still alive but definitely not in a good place. GEE. WHO WOULD’VE THUNK THAT?
This season’s premiere of The Walking Dead definitely earned its 9.5/10 because it was both satisfying AND left you wanting much, much more! Next week’s episode is going to feature Father I cannot wait to see what is in store for us this season! New Walking Dead is on AMC, every Sunday at 9 pm EST.
Stay classy guys, and remember..ALWAYS DESTROY THE BRAIN.
I spent the entire episode when my butt cheeks clenched. Thank you, TWD.
FUCKING. FLASH. SMOKE. GRENADE. in the zombie apocalypse.
So that’s how they stay so fresh..mud facials.
CAROL! WHY DO YOU HAVE TO DIE?!?! JUST WHEN YOU ARE BECOMING SO FRIGGIN’ COOL. (If you cannot stop crying during a panel..you’re gonna have a bad time).
FLAMING zombies! Ever since reading that comment in Issue..100? about the reanimated dead still continuing to walk and Kirkman’s excitement over them, that’s literally all I see.
If it was me and I was eating people, that tattooed man would’ve had to gone first. Either way, it was super satisfying to see Glenn doing the smashing with the bat.
That eyeball smasher!
Crap, the group is huge now. Main characters are DEFINITELY going.
I may be crazy, but did anyone see Negan in this episode?